Boys Varsity Football, Varsity Football · Football Playoffs Week 1 Preview – Colerain Cardinals (4-2) vs. Milford Eagles (2-3)

Chris Himonidis


What:             PLAYOFFS – Week 1 – Varsity Football Preview
Who:              #5 Colerain Cardinals (4-2) vs #12 Milford Eagles (2-3)
Where:          UC Health Field @ The Cage, Colerain High School, 8801 Cheviot Road
When:            Friday October 9, 2020 @ 7 PM
Media:          VIDEO:  TV – LIVE coverage on Spectrum News1 | Web – OHSAA Network (per game fee)
AUDIO ONLY:  Pregame @ 6:45PM – YouTube Channel (Click Here)
TAPE DELAY:  Waycross Community Television and  CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS.


** REMINDER:  Colerain High School Stadium Use Policy for Competitions with Spectators **



Team Schedule/Results and Key Players to Watch

Milford Eagles (2-3, 1-3 6th Place out of 10 teams in ECC)

2020 Schedule/Results:
W, 28-24:  8/28 vs. Oak Hills (0-5)
L, 14-49:  9/4 @ Turpin (4-1)
L, 14-49:  9/19 vs. Winton Woods (6-0)
W, 55-26:  9/25 A Little Miami (1-5)
L, 13-42:  10/2 A Anderson (4-2)

Playoffs (#12 Seed):
10/9 @ #5 Colerain Cardinals (4-2)


Total Offense:  305.2 YPG (7th in ECC)
Rushing Offense:  133.8 YPG (6th in ECC)
Passing Offense:  171.4 YPG (5th ECC)
Points per game:  24.8 PPG (6th in ECC)

Offensive Players to watch:
QB – #9 Austin Hardin (So.) 5’8” 150 lbs:  49-90 for 650 yds PASS, 8 TD, 5 INT
RB – #8 Natwan Webster (So.) 5’10” 200 lbs:  46-273 yds RUSH, 5.9 AVG, 2 TD, 1 Fumble; 12-109 yds REC, 1 TD
RB – #2 Tofa Luani (Fr.) 6’2″ 220 lbs:  40-147 yds RUSH, 3.7 AVG, 2 TD
WR – #18 Noah Earley (Sr.) 5’9″ 165 lbs:  21-240 yds REC, 2 TD
WR – #10 Vince Ringland (Sr.) 6’4″ 190 lbs:  12-161 yds REC, 3 TD
WR – #11 Chase Duesing (Jr.) 6’5″ 185 lbs:  10-243 yds REC, 2 TD


Total Defense:  356.2 YPG (LAST in ECC)
Rushing Defense:  197.0 YPG (8th in ECC)
Passing Defense:  159.2 YPG (6th in ECC)
Points allowed per game:  38.0 PPG (LAST in ECC)

Defensive Players to watch:
DE – #99 Cameron Zoromski (Jr.) 6’2″ 225 lbs:  17 Tackles, 5 Sacks, 8 TFL
DE – #55 Nick Klenk (Jr.) 5’8″ 220 lbs:  21 Tackles, 2 Sacks, 3 TFL
LB – #15 Jacob Smith (So.) 6’0″ 185 lbs:  24 Tackles, 0.5 Sacks, 3 TFL, 1 INT
DB – #37 Jaxon Sickle (Jr.) 5’9″ 165 lbs:  18 Tackles, 4 TFL



2020 Schedule/Results:

L, 0-10:  8/28 vs. Lakota West (5-0)
W, 30-0:  9/4 @ Oak Hills (0-5)
L, 37-41:  9/11 vs. Princeton (5-1)
W, 42-6:  9/18 vs. Middletown (1-4)
W, 21-7:  9/25 @ Sycamore (1-5)
W, 14-13:  10/2 vs Hamilton (3-3)

Playoffs (#5 Seed):
10/9 vs. #12 Milford (2-3) (Last Meeting:  2018 Regional Semi-Final – W, 48-14)


Total Offense:  307.8 YPG (3rd in GMC)
Rushing Offense:  229.5 YPG (3rd in GMC)
Passing Offense:  78.3 YPG (7th in GMC)
Points per game:  24.0 PPG (4th in GMC)

Offensive Players to watch:
QB – #15 Tyler Prather (Sr.) 6’3” 185 lbs:  28-58 for 432 yds PASS, 1 TD, 1 INT; 47-233 yds RUSH, 6 TD, 1 Fumble
QB/RB – #1 Freddie Johnson (Sr.) 5’11” 175 lbs:  55-312 yds RUSH, 3 TD; 12-172 yds REC, 2 Fumble
RB – #28 Amere Shannon (Jr.) 6’0″ 170 lbs:  19-144 yds RUSH 1 TD; 4-37 yds REC 1 TD, 1 Fumble
FB – #9 M.J. Flowers (Jr.) 6’1” 185 lbs:  97-577 yds RUSH, 7 TD, 1 Fumble
WR – #2 Isaiah Myers (Jr.) 6’4” 175 lbs:  10-253 yds REC


Total Defense:  194.0 YPG (2nd in GMC)
Rushing Defense:  63.8 YPG (1st in GMC)
Passing Defense:  130.2 YPG (9th in GMC)
Points allowed per game:  12.8 PPG (2nd in GMC)

Defensive Players to watch:
DL – #58 Dontay Corleone (Sr.) 6’2” 340 lbs:  26 Tackles, 5 Sacks, 1 FF   3*** UC Commit
LB – #20 Lavert Jarmon (Jr.) 5’10” 175 lbs:  35 Tackles, 2 Sacks
LB – #5 Mike Bess Jr. (Sr.) 6’1” 245 lbs:  22 Tackles, 1 Sack
DB – #10 Sean Williamson (Sr.) 6’ 165 lbs:  30 Tackles, 0.5 Sacks, 2 Interceptions
DB – #4 Brandon Sinclair (Sr.) 6’2″ 185 lbs:  22 Tackles, 1 Sack, 1 Interception



Keys to Victory for Colerain

    • OFFENSE:  Last week against Hamilton, Colerain managed only 221 total yards of offense.  It was a bit of a step back vs. a fast and solid tackling team.  This week’s opponent will not present the size or speed of the Big Blue.  Milford, overall, is a young team that is in year two of it’s rebuilding from going to the playoffs in 2018 where their season ended at the hands of our very Cardinals.  Milford gives up over 350 total yards per game, of which almost 200 are on the ground.  This game will present the Cardinals with an opportunity to further gain confidence in their ability to rush the football and score points.  They were limited to ONE offensive TD last week against Hamilton and it was on a short field.  That must improve as the playoffs don’t allow for a “next week” if you come up short of the scoreboard.  A continued steady-diet of JR MJ Flowers up the middle with timely counters and jet sweeps should be enough to move the ball on the Eagles.  This would also be an excellent opportunity to try passing the ball a bit more to work on timing routes and deep patterns for JR WR Isiah Myers.  The fact that he doesn’t have a TD 6 weeks into the season is mind-boggling.  That could change this week.  Finally, the OL has got to delivery.  Line play in the playoffs is what determines how far you go.


    • DEFENSE/ST:  The defense was really tested last week on busted plays by the previously mentioned super-stud Malik Verdon.  He rushed for 134 yards and scored a TD and got the Big Blue within 1 point of tying and 2 points of beating Colerain.  The Cards were tough and held on for the win, even stopping a 2-pt conversion late to seal the win.  This week, it’s going to once again be about stopping the pass as Milford has a Sophomore QB who loves to sling the ball all over the field.  He has three very good receivers and they average over 170 yards per game through the air.  Now granted, that is the ECC but this defense has shown that if they are not completely focused, they are susceptible to the big play.  The key this week is going to be keeping pressure on the young QB and force him to put the ball in the air before he wants to or in situations he doesn’t want to.  On the ground, the Eagles are going to fly with a big, bruising freshman in in 6’2″ 220 lb Tofa Luani.  He may be big but he is still a freshman.  The LB’s and DL need to pound on him every time he touches the ball.  The x-factor is Sophomore Natwan Webster.  He, along with Tofa, are the only players on the team to play both ways.  It says alot that Coach Tom Grippa trusts and Freshman and a Sophomore enough to start both ways..


    • Bottom-Line:  This bizarre season has moved to phase 2…the playoffs.  Gone this year are the harbins and the 8 team playoffs.  16 teams in the region have made the playoffs and Colerain is the #5 seed…as voted on by local coaches.  Weird, right?  The path will eventually run in to the big boys of St. Xavier, Elder, Princeton or even…Lakota West.  But first, they must not overlook Milford.  The Cardinals are 22-0 all-time in the first round of the playoffs.  That streak should not end on Friday night.  The Cardinals are faster, more athletic and more experienced than the Eagles.  That doesn’t guarantee a win, but it does provide a good foundation for one.  If the seeds hold true, Friday will be the last game of the year at The Cage.  Look for the Seniors to lead the way and close out the season at home with a W.
  • #BeatMilford